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Sunday, January 29, 2017

Just Eat It

So, for the past couple of months David and I have been eating what's in the downstairs freezer. It came with the house and it's one of those old Hide-A-Body sized ones - you could probably hide 2 or 3 actually if you bent them up right. But I digress. The problem with having so much food storage is we tend to buy the same thing too many times not remembering it's down there and we end up with 10 bottles of  coffee creamer. Then there is the things we thought we would like,...... but hmm, yeah no. We've learned not buy any new foods at Sams Clubs if we haven't tried it yet - it's one thing to choke down one small package of something, it's a whole other ball game to be faced with the Economy Jumbo Size. So,  I moved what was left upstairs and was left with an ice encrusted giant freezer with bits of schumtz plastered to the bottom. Ew.

I actually had to hang upside down to reach the bottom but I did get it cleaned out and it's airing right now, I may or may not plug it back in because everything that was down there fits upstairs easily. We have been really good lately not buying things we don't need, we're down to only shopping once a week which really cuts down on the impulse buying. If I go into  a store for milk, chances are I'll leave with more than that, bet it's the same with you. Now, on the flip side I've gotten rid of things I will never use. I pitched some weird flaked garlic that I have no idea where I bought that. If  I open it and it's disgusting - out it goes - but I also don't buy it again because no matter the claim it will be the same thing no matter how hard you try. There is a calorie free maynaise I've bought twice, it has zero calories and looks great. It's fine until you try to eat it - seriously if it needs to taste like a mouth full of chemicals can't they at least make they vaguely likeable? It's like licking a tire and is completely inedible which probably accounts for it being zero calorie....

The other stuff I threw out was a bag of couscous. Not that I don't love couscous BUT when I cooked it,well....there's a place that I usually don't buy any rice, grains or flour because of coming home with more than I paid for. This must've been a left over before I smartened up. I started boiling the water, dumped in the couscous and the Bonus Bug drifted up to the top, sigh. SO I hate throwing anything out, I didn't see any other bugs, just the one so I finished cooking it and put it in a container in the fridge. I took it out a couple of times and then gave up the ship and tossed it. And the rest of it. All I could think of is finding little bug feet or little bug eyes mixed in with my dinner. Or EGGS. So, out it goes and no more buying grain based foods at that store. 

Saturday, January 14, 2017

Fresh

The other day someone posted some silly article about rules for visiting a new mother - it was the usual crap. So I just made a little comment about how it doesn't apply to grandmas, just something silly. Of course we immediately  had the Easily Offended who felt the need to make rude comments, such as "selfish", blah blah blah. I turned off the notifications as I've learned from experience ANYTHING you say will just esculate the situation, like a cyber dog pile. The thing is - the article was stupid in my opinion, all it really was was common sense and and somewhat offensive. Why would I bother visiting anyone that had a list of rules for me before I even hit the door? But that is neither here nor there.

What I found offensive was the people that felt the need to attack what really was, no matter how you read it, a silly comment. These are people that are raising our next generation and it's frightening. They have no filter, no common sense and are so focused on thier "rights" they take nothing else into account except thier own opinion. Any other view is attacked and destroyed - and the things people do and say are almost breathtaking. All I can think when Iread some of these things is - would you say that to someone face to face? If you were across the dinner table would you do all that name calling? Do you really behave like that in real life? 

During the election I probably unfollowed a dozen people - and unfriended a few more - that is something that doesn't need to be on social media. EVER. I know there's some people thinking now it's their right to voice their opinion - and you are very correct. But there's a bit differentce between voicing your opinion and being a screaming piece of shit bully that insists on pushing it down my throat - regardless of whether it's a manifesto on what is required to visit you and your baby (and just for the record I hope you like being alone, all the time with your bubble baby and list of rules) or an opinion on whether Trump should (NOT) be president. I can't say I follow my own rules all of the time, but I will tell you when I feel like I'm not - I stop and leave. I try very hard to read what I'm posting first before hitting send - if that person was in the room with me would I actually say that to them? Would it hurt thier feelings? And if it would - I don't. 

Saturday, December 31, 2016

Home again

So, we stayed with Brandi and the girls for 8 days, that's longer than our usual stays, but since it's such a long trip to get there and it's not often that we do, we made it a bit longer of a stay. The entire time we were there it was rainy and cold with occasional sunshine - except the last day. That would be the one and only day it decided to snow. Our day started at 3:30am with the airline texting me a delay in flight. I called Orbitz and the guy said he'd call back, which he did as soon as I fell back asleep - the first flight was delayed but we would be able to make the connection. That is until the next text, and the next.... we decided to go to the airport early and would deal with it there. It had been snowing a bit before we left as Brandi pulled out of the drive it got worse, the road was starting to look messy - of course!! She needed gas so while David pumped the gas we looked for a shuttle service - success. And better yet the pick up was 20 minutes away and the next one was due in an hour. We hung out at McDonalds - we had to change the babies and took them in the bathroom. They had a changing table that made us laugh, ive never seen one so high up in the air. It was about chest high on Brandi, if it had been any higher she would have had to toss the baby up. One of the twins had an epic poop and thats when we discovered the wipes were still home so we had to improvise. As you can see, the whole day was slow going, but the shuttle showed up on time and off we went. 

We checked our bags and then got on The Stranded People Line which was long and crabby. We were near a woman from NJ and she was killing us - she was loudly complaining with a running commentary ("Did ja see that - he's flirting with them, FLIRTING - like we need this!"), she was ordering her husband around and had a bag big enough to fit a couple of bodies in - it did make the time go faster. SO, when we got up to The Flirter he managed to get his attention back on his job (and honestly, I would not want their job re-routing a legion of disgruntled passengers). We were given the choice of flying into Chicago and then not flying back out til 2pm THE NEXT DAY - no thank you! - or we could fly into San Francisco, hang around for a couple of hours and then direct fly to Pittsburgh landing at 6 am in the morning. We took the second option, we were up for the night either way. San Francisco was not bad - we had wifi and outlets to recharge, the food was GREAT, I had Spanish which I love, coffee and lots of seating. We took off a little later than planned but as long as I was heading home I did not care. 

I was supposed to have the middle seat but the teenage boy offered to sit in the middle so I could have the aisle, which was nice. Until he started fighting with the window passenger who happened to be his brother - I was VERY glad when they fell asleep. I knit for awhile, read, slept fitfully and since it was an 8 hour flight had to use the bathroom. I hate using the bathroom on the plane, it's so tiny and I'm always afraid will hit turbulence and I'll be sent flying out into the aisle - but nothing happened. I had called the parking place the night before to let them know we were delayed. We arrived on time, weary but home at last! Even our baggage made it which was amazing given how many people were rerouted. We collected our bags and called Globe who came and got us. Our car was warmed up (HURRAH!!) and off we went. What a long long drive home - we had been up for 36 hours, flown across the country and 3 time zones. I drove most of the way home while David rested and then when I started weaving he took over.. I unpacked and greeted the cats, got stuff going while he went and got the dogs - I fell into bed and slept for a few hours, boy were we a mess! But it was a wonderful trip and it was so nice seeing how well Brandi and the girls are doing. We'll go back out in the spring I think, I can't wait!

Sunday, December 25, 2016

Our Trip

We were at Brandi's for over a week, how fast it went! Our friends Kim and Steve had relocated a few years back to Seaside, OR and when they found out we were heading out there - they made plans to hang out with us. I'm realistic, I know part of Kim's motivation was the opportunity to play with not one but TWO babies. They only live four hours away and made it into a mini vacation for them too. Kim and I are lifelong best girlfriends, there no time or distance we cannot conquer together. Brandi had a good time I think, Kim is a hilarious story teller so the afternoon went fast. We talked about when we met - for those interested, I met Kim on a pull out couch at a slumber party thrown by a mutual friend - she was 13, I was 15. 

We ended up going out to dinner at a hole in the wall Mexican restaurant I'd found on Yelp which I'm a huge fan of. My cousin John introduced me to it and I use it all the time, especially when traveling as everyone writes reviews. It's easy to sift through the nonsense ones - someone complaining about the color of the walls interests me less than multiple people warning you off. But this place was as promised - the food was amazing and since we were there on a weeknight we were the only customers. The babies loved it, they're at the perfect age where they're not walking yet but old enough to be interested in everything around them. It was a fun visit, but much too short. 

We took the girls out again to a waffle house - they had a cheese sandwich and fries which they pretty much just waved around. Too much going on! We got excellent service because everytime they spotted our waitress they would start smiling at her and then she had to come over of course....  I know as their grandmother I'm probably a bit prejudiced toward them, but they are really excellent babies. It's hard being so far from them. We video chat with them, but it's not the same as being there. We had such a great time - helping with baths, meal time, changing diapers, dressing them. It was great hanging out with my daughter in law too, we marathoned the Twilight Zone and she makes just as many comments as I do! We got to see downtown Whidbey Island - it was pretty cold but sunny. It reminded me a little of the Hamptons, small shops, local stuff, very scenic. 

Saturday, December 24, 2016

Time To Talk About Our Trip

I usually blog as I go, but I forgot to take my keyboard and I hate typing on the tablet. So, I'm going to be doing entries to cover our trip. We did great leaving this time, dogs were dropped off, I had been packing all along - at least trying. I had bought the girls so many clothes I had to unpack most of them and mail them! We made good time up to the airport - we parked at Globe parking which we will do again. It was half the price and they shuttle you right to your gate. The flight out was not bad, since you're turning the clock back 3 hours it's fairly decent - left at 8am and arrived at 2. Brandi got a little caught in traffic but not a big, at least not for us. The party with the 9 month old twins in the back of the van might disagree! The time change really affects you at bedtime, the clock says 9 pm and your head says MIDNIGHT, arrgh. But we stayed up and toughed it out. The next day we were still a bit floppy but it was so great seeing Brandi again. And the babies! They are growing like weeds, it's amazing the difference 5 months can make. When I saw them last they were super tiny, now they crawl, smile, babble - super fun

Since it's an island there's stores and restaurants, we stayed on the island as everything is a bit far and really, we were there to spend time with our family. We did find one yarn shop and I totally splurged on silk spun yarn - on sale it was over $100 for 3 skeins, Merry Christmas to me! I was a bit on the fence - the shopowner was really pushing it, but I'm sure during the winter things get a bit thin for her. Whatever, it will be fun to knit with.  We took Brandi and the girls shopping for a Christmas tree and stuff, I made two lasangas, one to eat and one for Brandi to have after we left. 

The island itself is impressive, so beautiful. The lakes and mountains, the sea - it's about an hour from Canada and it was wierd seeing signs for that. Jackson and Brandi are in military housing but wow! What a difference from Tennessee! They have a huge four bedroom home with catherdral ceilings and hardwood floors, it's really beautiful. The neighborhood is so nice - when David was putting together one of the cribs the neighbor came over because she heard banging and she wanted to make sure Brandi and the girls were alright. It's hard them being so far, but I'm so glad they landed in such a nice and safe place! More tomorrow.

Sunday, November 27, 2016

Walk

Molly and I did Friendship Park this morning, it's fairly close and she really enjoys it. She's gotten to the point she knows what park we're at, when I turn down the road leading to it she has her head out the window with ears blowing in the wind and tail wagging. The trails are not too rough,there's a bit of up and down but it's not extreme. We've ditched the electric collar entirely as Molly does not go that far from me. She was loving it today, romping around and flipping over leaves. David and I have discussed him taking her hunting - this past year she's seemed to have hit a good spot. While we were out they were firing at a range in the distance and Molly didn't like it, but she wasn't really bothered by it. And we're having a teeny issue with Revenge. For the past 3 weeks when David takes Reuben out hunting Molly wreaks Revenge On David. Yesterday she ate all of his bread, the whole loaf. And no I didn't leave it down, she looks for things to ruin of his. She ate a glove, ripped open a bag o QTips, tore up some junk mail.

When he and Reuben come back she follows the dead birds, you can tell Molly really wants to participate. Hopefully in the next year we can get her to the point that she can go too,otherwise David will have to say goodbye to his stuff. But in the meantime she will continue to be my walking buddy. I've been looking for some other parks for us to go to, but since we're in such a rural area I don't want to end up driving longer than I'm walking. Molly wouldn't care, she loves the car ride too. We have to keep the window open, even in the dead of winter. 

I'm hoping the weather doesn't get too bad this winter, Molly is really enjoying herself - and so am I.

Saturday, November 26, 2016

Working Stiff

So - I went part time a couple of weeks ago reducing my work week by 8 hours. I mean it's part time but not too much of a cut in hours.  It is not working out quite the way I planned it, the vision of something and the reality once you implement it often tend to be two entirely different animals, don't they? The reason I did it was to reduce my driving a little, to be able to do things in our other house flipping universe that I can't get done on the weekends and to be able to start back walking and hiking. But it's had an unexpected side effect which is giving me anxiety like no body's business. I don't know why it's making me so anxious - and REALLY anxious. Middle of the night up for hours pacing, tight chest, I can't breath anxious which requires at least an hour of reading before I can go back to  sleep. 

I know part of it is I had not expected such a drastic change in my benefits, paid time off, sick time, etc... after all, it's just one day,right? Nope. The company I work for is wonderful (why else would I be willing to drive 120 miles daily round trip?), but they are not fond of part-timers. I thought I had read the policy and done the math, but when I looked again it at the policy some things are simply not mentioned. Part of me thought I should have asked more questions, but in reality I would have had to known what questions to ask. The whole thing is moot of course, my boss had told me at any time I can reverse my decision and right now we're in pretty good financial shape. We owe over $50,000 BUT we also have all the cars paid off, no credit card debt and own three houses, one of which we're holding the  mortgage to so that payment pays the loan each month. But..... that one day reduction........

All of my sick time got taken back - almost two weeks worth. Gone. No more paid holidays, no more personal time. My vacation has gone from 120 hours a year to 40. My medical insurance payment has quadrupled. I sort of knew that, but it's one of those things, until you do it you really don't know how you'll feel. And I don't think that's the whole of it, I come from a legion of Rainy Day People, you know, those annoying people that are always walking around with their own potential  Apocalypse trotting right behind them. We hoard it like dragons and their jewels, we blow it once in awhile, then worry and regret it. Should I have bought that new car? Did I really need a new laptop when the DOS system is still working on my IBM computer? I come from Bargain Hunters, we can never buy anything unless we are assured that nowhere in the world is that product even one dollar less somewhere else. I do have my hobbies, I'll pay full price for any knitting supplies and of course my beloved books, but lets face it, even going all out there's a limit on how much you can possibly spend. SO, I'm giving it another week or so and if I can't tolerate it I'll have to go back to the drawing board. On the upside I've finished 4 books!